IPL 2024: Chennai beat Bengaluru by six wickets in opening match of season

New captain Ruturaj Gaikwad leads defending champions to victory in curtain-raiser

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New captain Ruturaj Gaikwad led his Chennai Super Kings team to a six-wicket victory against Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Indian Premier League's opening game on Friday.

Gaikwad was handed the captaincy of the defending IPL champions on Thursday by outgoing skipper MS Dhoni, who had led them to last year's title.

Bengaluru captain Faf du Plessis won the toss at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and elected to bat first as they posted a total of 173-6 off their 20 overs.

The South African, alongside fellow opener Virat Kohli, got the visitors of to a strong start as he hit two boundaries off Tushar Deshpande's first over.

In the third over, Du Plessis hit four fours off Deepak Chahar in an over that cost the hosts 17 runs.

But he perished after making 35 off 23 balls when he was caught top edging to Rachin Ravindra off the bowling of Mustafizur Rahman.

The Bangladeshi quick struck again soon afterwards, removing Rajat Patidar, who edged to wicketkeeper Dhoni for a three-ball duck.

Chahar then removed the dangerous Glenn Maxwell as the Australian nicked a length ball to the keeper.

But Kohli dug in to make 21 off 20 deliveries before also falling to Mustafizur, again caught by Kiwi all-rounder Ravindra.

Mustafizur then struck again in the same over as he bowled Cameron Green, for 18 off 22, with a slower ball.

Dinesh Karthik (38 not out) and Anuj Rawat, who was run out for 48 after a smart piece of work from keeper Dhoni, managed to steer Bengaluru to a reasonably competitive total of 173.

Mustafizur finished with figures of 4-29.

In reply, the hosts got off to a flier, racing to 38 without loss with new captain Gaikwad hitting two fours off Mohammed Siraj in the first over. The captain then fell for 15 off 15 balls was caught by Yash Dayal off Green.

Ravindra hit three fours and three sixes as he made 37 off 15 balls before he was caught by Rajat Patidar off Karn Sharna.

Rahane (27 off 19), and Daryl Mitchell (22 off 18) both made valuable contributions before Shivam Dube (34 off 28) and Ravindra Jadeja (25 off 17) steered the hosts to victory with a total of 176-4 with eight balls to spare.

Bengaluru bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Alzarri Joseph were expensive as they both went for 38 runs without taking a wicket. Green was the pick of the visitors' attack, taking two for 27.

New Super Kings skipper Gaikwad said: "Getting those four wickets in the middle overs was definitely a turning point, especially to get Maxwell and Faf out. We controlled the next few overs and that was a defining moment in the game."

On his first experience of captaining the team, he said: "I enjoyed it, I never felt additional pressure. A super good moment."

Teammate Ravindra said: "I think it was a pretty complete performance by us. Obviously the wicket was a good one and we held our nerve."

The New Zealander added: "It was cool just to be out there and experience this amazing crowd and the fans for the first time."

Du Plessis said: "You always feel like you have to get ahead of the game a bit in those first six overs but we unfortunately lost too may wickets in those first seven overs. Which meant the guys needed to bat a little bit to steady the innings.

"Chennai is a very good team in the middle overs so, as they've done for so many years, they squeeze you with their spinners

"In the end, I felt we were 15 or 20 runs short. We were always a little bit behind."

Updated: March 22, 2024, 8:06 PM